Effects of stand density on mitigation and adaptability to climate change in pine and hardwood forests of Missouri
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Understanding how forests respond to traditional management in the context of climate change is increasingly important for developing multi-objective management strategies. In the Missouri Ozarks, the influence of long-term forest management on climate mitigation and adaptation potential is largely unknown. Using data from two long-term thinning studies, we determined the influence of stand density on carbon dynamics and drought response in the Missouri Ozarks. First, carbon storage and sequestration rates of even-aged short leaf pine and upland oak forests were assessed to better understand the role of manipulating stand density in mitigating climate change. Next, we developed a short leaf pine tree ring-width chronology to determine the influence of thinning on tree-level growth response during a severe drought. Results offer valuable information to land managers regarding the effects of stand density and traditional management practices on mitigation and adaptation to climate change in the Missouri Ozarks.
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